Former paramedic visits Lufkin while raising awareness of move over laws

O'Ferrell was injured while on duty as paramedic five years ago. (Source: Annette Rhoades)
O'Ferrell was injured while on duty as paramedic five years ago. (Source: Annette Rhoades)
Taking on a cross country journey, a former paramedic is bicycling coast to coast in efforts to raise awareness of the move over and slow down law. The first responder was injured after bring hit on a highway while on duty almost five years ago and he made a pit stop in Lufkin to share his message .

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - "It's always been a dream of mine to cycle across country and I have a limited time to do it so I'm doing while I have a chance," said Aodhan O'Ferrell, cycling cross country.

O'Ferrell is racing against time to spread a message as he bikes from Georgia to California.

"Five and half years ago I was working as a paramedic firefighter and me and my partner were in a really bad accident. We were hit by a car," O'Ferrell said.

Since the accident, O'Ferrell suffers from nerve and brain damage and now he's devoting his time to helping others, each mile he pedals, he's raising awareness about move over laws.

"In the very beginning it was a documentation of my journey because my brain injuries have short term memory loss," O'Ferrell said.

Because of his memory loss, he said if something doesn't repeat itself, then it doesn't become long term memory. As a result he captures moments with first responders, police, and firefighters, sharing them on his Facebook page, to help spread his message

He also gets help from roadside companion and also his girlfriend, who trails several hours behind. Annette Rhoades said it's a sacrifice that can't be attached to a price tag.

"It's worth it for him to live out his dreams. If that's what he wants I'll do it," Rhoades said.

 O'Ferrell hopes his cross-country journey will bring a message to every city he passes.

"Sometimes you have to show tragedy to get the message across and I'm not the only one like this," he said. "There are thousands that have been hit or killed on the road and so I decided that once I tell my story and I get to San Diego or the pacific I want the Facebook page to be turned over as a way for these people to be remembered."

According to DPS, more than 10,000 warnings and citations were issued in 2017 to drivers violating the move over and slow down law.

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